For organizations seeking to accelerate the value and impact of their digital marketing investment, it’s time to shift the focus from the creative to the collaborative. As the intersection points between marketing strategy and the underlying technologies that support execution continue to multiply in complexity, a strong organizational Digital IQ can be the difference between companies that struggle and companies that use digital as a differentiator.
While a high Digital IQ can take many forms--from an enterprise focus on innovation to executive sponsorship of technology investments--a key characteristic is a robust CIO-CMO relationship. According to PwC’s recent Digital IQ Survey of almost 1,500 IT and business leaders, 70% of top-performing organizations have strong relationships between the CIO and the CMO. Yet overall, the CIO’s relationship with the CMO was rated among the lowest in the entire C-Suite, with only 51% of all respondents reporting it as strong. This presents a great opportunity for collaboration and growth.
Increasingly, the successes of the CIO and the CMO are intertwined. As investments in marketing technologies cross multiple lines, devices, and platforms, so does the accountability for programmatic execution, and more importantly, success. From digital asset management to campaign analytics and customer data modeling, a shared responsibility across the customer journey is beginning to form. Leaders who actively seek collaboration across budgets, teams, and roadmaps are finding greater success than those operating in silos.
This evolution toward collaboration is not just operational, but requires a mindset shift. Companies need to move past the concept of digital as a purely customer-focused, marketing-driven initiative, especially as the technology budget is no longer the sole domain of the IT department. In fact, less than 55% of IT spending is accounted for in the CIO’s budget. With more groups across the enterprise making technology investments, a coordinated strategy is crucial.
Three Questions To Help Establish Your Digital IQ Level
1. Do the CIO and CMO have common business goals and metrics aligned with the organization’s strategic roadmap?
2. Is there a shared understanding of what skills each department needs to execute successfully on the roadmap? Thirty-eight percent of CMOs cite old technology as the biggest barrier to delivering on digital initiatives. If the IT group isn’t seen as the go-to resource for evaluating new technologies, marketing will seek out third parties or appoint its own technology chiefs.
3. Are the CIO and CMO up to speed on each other’s projects and plans? How often do they meet to review and revise those plans?
The good news is that the CIO and CMO aren’t that far apart on key issues. CIOs, having dealt with supporting enterprise applications that often aren’t user-friendly, are acknowledging the value of prototyping and user experience design—two crucial skills to develop customer-facing apps, services, and experience. Second, both understand that this isn’t merely about IT’s understanding of marketing, but rather it's about the IT skills within marketing.
Three Steps To Improving The CIO-CMO Relationship
1. Develop a digital operating mode to define responsibilities for market-facing digital technology like consumer apps, Web sites, or customer analytics. This requires explicit agreement between the CIO and CMO on the owner of the initiatives, the role each leader will take on, and when and how they are expected to work together.
2. Redefine the way that digital capabilities are designed to ensure that the right decision-makers and skillsets are engaged in idea development, designing, planning, estimating, and sourcing. Clearly articulate how and when the CIO and IT organization will be involved in projects.
3. Review both departments’ major initiatives, and look for opportunities to share each other’s perspectives and revise priorities, plans, and involvement. Using an agile process, you can create a multi-disciplinary approach that forms dedicated teams with the right people regardless of where they sit in the organization.
Businesses that have a high Digital IQ are 2.2 times more likely to be top performers in revenue growth, profitability, and innovation. The more collaborative the marketing and technology is, the more likely the business is to drive exceptional value.